An estimated 25,000 jobless workers in Washington will be shut off of unemployment benefits when the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends on Dec. 28. This includes 378 in Grays Harbor, and 71 in Pacific County. The majority of workers impacted are in King and Pierce.
Since being activated in July 2008, the program has paid about $6.3 billion in federally funded unemployment benefits to more than 452,000 jobless workers in this state, according to the state Employment Security Department.
Currently, up to 63 weeks of unemployment benefits are available in Washington, including 26 weeks of regular benefits and 37 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation. After Dec. 28, only regular benefits will be available for most Washington workers.
Although Congress has extended the EUC program 11 times in the past five years, there’s currently no indication it will be reauthorized again. If Congress and the President approve another extension, Employment Security will automatically notify potentially eligible individuals.
Employment Security is using email, robocalls and direct mail to remind EUC recipients that the program is ending.
The messages also will urge the workers to contact their local WorkSource office for assistance in finding work. Two studies have shown that people who use WorkSource job-search services tend to find jobs faster and earn more money than those who don’t use WorkSource.